TMC CDL (in-house) Training Day 1

Topic 24229 | Page 6

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Solo's Comment
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A bit worried on how I'm going to fit my stuff up in the small top bunk. These TMC trucks are not those condo style 2-story w/ an upper window that one might typically see. I'm not a big guy by any stretch, but I'll be sure to take a picture w/ my duffle (5-days worth of clothing, bib, rain suit, laundry bag, shaving bag), and soft-sided yeti cooler to hold my meal replacement drinks (so I can keep the food budget down and not have to worry about taking any of the trainers limited fridge space or eating expensive/oversized truck stop meals).

Man, 5 weeks in such a confined space all of a sudden seems daunting, but then again...they used to have those day cabs w/ 2 bunks. Sheesh.

Day Cab:

A tractor which does not have a sleeper berth attached to it. Normally used for local routes where drivers go home every night.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Kyle M.'s Comment
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A little tip I picked up in my training if possible is sit your duffel in the passenger seat when your in your bunk. Good luck keep us updated!!

Solo's Comment
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A little tip I picked up in my training if possible is sit your duffel in the passenger seat when your in your bunk. Good luck keep us updated!!

Good tip right there!

Rob T.'s Comment
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I'm sure you're busy and probably ready to hit the bunk as soon as your done but I'd love to hear how things are going for you after your first couple days. No hurry, whenever you have time. The most important thing is getting the most out of your training

Solo's Comment
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I'm sure you're busy and probably ready to hit the bunk as soon as your done but I'd love to hear how things are going for you after your first couple days. No hurry, whenever you have time. The most important thing is getting the most out of your training

We need to update TMC from a solo dispatch to Team Driving under the reviews section.

I’m in my bunk bouncing around trying to type on my phone, so I’ll get a large update in this weekend.

Have driven in 50mph winds, total white out conditions, and drove 620mi yesterday with 3min left.

-60 windchill is brutal.

Solo's Comment
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Sorry for the gap, but as you veterans know (and rookies like myself not yet out of CDL school and into week 1 of OTR training will soon find out), you don't have ANY downtime that you'd rather spend doing anything other than sleeping during...

Week 1 (of 5) OTR training:

Trainer picked me up at the Des Moines Terminal Sunday night around 6 pm. It was cold and snowing. He gave me the rules of the truck, etc and we set off for Nebraska. He said he would drive to run out his clock and stop in Council Bluffs for the night and make our Monday am delivery in NE of Insulation.

The weather between Des Moines and Council was wild. It was 20 degrees and raining. Not sleet or snow, but literal raindrops. The road was slick, so he took it slow for most of the trip. We arrived at the Sap Bros stop and it was 39 degrees. Incredible...until the morning, where it was 19 degrees! and WINDY. He has me drive to the consignee and we miss our turn requiring me to go through town and make a tight u-turn...nerves have started racking. We get there and have 2 trucks ahead of us; 1 van 1 flatbed. It was so damn windy, we actually got out and helped breakdown the guy's securement and tarps (I rolled them). The driver didn't have gloves, so my trainer gave him a pair of those insulated grey gloves you can buy from Pilot/FlyingJ. He gets underway and they actually had us back into their building to prevent the insulation from taking flight after we removed our straps.

From there, Mon-Wed was a blur. I know I've driven in incredibly windy and complete whiteout conditions. Our truck broke down 2 miles after we left a flying J for several hours until we were finally able to get the engine to 190 degrees and force a Regen (DEF system). -51 windchill for this Florida boy was brutal.

All I can remember is we drove down to Kentucky yesterday to drop some AG equipment and then bounced down some super winding, rolling hills and narrow road to pick up some coiled wire that won't need to be delivered until Monday. I was rerouted over the Cumberland bridge due to weight restrictions and I had to get out onto a busy road from a stop sign on a steep hill w/ very little easement for a tight right turn outside of Clarkesville, tn. My nerves were spent.

I drove until nearly midnight last night and I was dropped off at my hotel around 145 am this morning.

Between Monday am and midnight Thur, I knocked out 2k miles for my first week, but overall feel pretty good. Have fallen off the catwalk and nearly knocked myself out w/ dunnage. Rolling frozen straps is brutal and rolling frozen lumber tarps even worse.

The hotel I'm in is pretty nice and I will enjoy the 3-day weekend before starting week 2 around 11am Sunday.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Consignee:

The customer the freight is being delivered to. Also referred to as "the receiver". The shipper is the customer that is shipping the goods, the consignee is the customer receiving the goods.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

PackRat's Comment
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You're getting there. Enjoy your time off this weekend.

Solo's Comment
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Start of week 2 was Sunday with a drive up to Wells, MN to drop off a load of Coiled Wire. When we arrived it was 40 degrees and raining...and when we woke up, it was 10 and very windy. It had snowed overnight, thus our tarp and straps were now hardened boards. We did our best to roll (more like a square) our straps and remove the tarp. The gentlemen that unloaded us offered to allow us to take our wet/frozen tarp inside the warehouse to try and let it dry/thaw out until he was done, so we took him up on it.

Leaving MN and heading back to IA was a skating rink. Trucks, trailers, bus, cars were skating off the interstate left and right. One Schneider truck jackknifed in slow motion. I managed to not touch the brake and keep the rubber side down, and that kept my trainer happy.

I learned that hand warmers don't work with gloves, as they only heat your palms, and not your fingertips (unless you work in mittens). The rest of my body was good as I'm wearing bibs, base layer, water/windproof jacket, baklava, beanie, and insulated Red Wing boots.

From there, we had to deadhead back to Iowa for truck and trailer service.

Trailer needs new mud flaps, a new sidebox, and right/front nose repair (it was picked up w/ these problems)

The truck needs it's 40k mile service + esper heater repair, and hub seal.

For those wondering about how serious TMC takes their clean truck policy, they have an appearance bay that is as clean as a new car showroom with everything you need to make your truck showroom clean inside/out before you can turn it in for service:

5 hours just on the inside of the cab, before we could turn it in for service.

So we're at the company owned hotel for at least 2 days while they work the tractor in, and we were advised 2-days for the trailer, so it will be a short training week.

Deadhead:

To drive with an empty trailer. After delivering your load you will deadhead to a shipper to pick up your next load.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Rob T.'s Comment
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I don't know what's crazier. Tmc being so strict about cleanliness of their trucks, or being a flatbedder smile.gif. I cant blame TMC for wanting their equipment maintained a certain way. If you haven't already, you'll see plenty of drivers who are absolute slobs. Glad to hear things are going well and more importantly that you were dressed warm! The conditions you needed to unload in as well as drive in was an excellent thing to experience with a trainer there to offer advice.

Solo's Comment
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We're still stuck at the company hotel in Des Moines as the truck hasn't had its service completed. The trailer we dropped at the north terminal has been repaired and looks great, but the truck won't be done until AT LEAST tomorrow afternoon.

I'm only getting training pay during my time as a trainee ($500/wk), BUT I've been getting paid $25 anytime I volunteer my time to leave the terminal to help with errands such as drop off a truck at Cummings for service; Drop off parts to the North Terminal, and $25 for each brand new near 0 mile 2019 Pete 579 I have to bring to the Des Moines terminal for final assembly; 6 so far since yesterday.

TMC is replacing their trucks at a rate of 12-15 PER WEEK, and Peterbilt can't deliver them fast enough.

Those 2019 12-spds w/ the smart steering wheel (Just cruise, high idle, stereo controls) are a DREAM to drive. I'll pass on the 9-sp manual, 10 spd auto, and take a 12-spd auto, please =)

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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